I read a lot of blogs, usually at least 15 a day. Though I never claim to be an expert, I can sure tell you want I like and what I don’t like when it comes to other peoples blogs. While these things are my personal preferences, I’m sure there are other people out there that feel the same as me.
How user friendly a blog is is VERY important to me. You might have never thought about user friendliness when it comes to your blog posts before, but it can be an important factor to how long someone stays on your blog and if they decide to come back or not.
Let’s look at some things that I think can make blogs more user friendly:
Make it easy to find your latest post.
With the amount of themes out there to buy or download for free, there’s many options. Some of these options are bad. Of course, this is subjective. But there is one type that irks me to no end.
It’s when you can’t find the actual latest post on the main page. Maybe there’s a slider that revolves around latest posts, maybe your posts are split up into categories rather than date order, maybe there’s no date at all.
If I have to rely on looking at the dates in the URL, or look in the sidebar for a ‘latest post’ widget, then I’m probably too frustrated to read your post by the time I find it.
If you don’t want your posts in chronological order, please have the date showing!
Have a clear ‘read more’ option.
If you have your blog in a grid or magazine style, make sure you make it easy for people to see where they need to click to read more.
It might be obvious that you should click the title of the post to read more, but I have come across posts where that doesn’t work, or the link just takes you back to the home page, if you have to click on ‘comments’ or something random to get the full post, you could be losing out on readers because they’ll give up.
Have clear social buttons.
You should make it DEAD easy for me to find your on Twitter and other social channels. If your social buttons are scattered about and not all in one place above the fold, then I’m going to miss them.
Unless they are easy to see, chances are I won’t go searching in the footer or within blog posts to try and connect with you.
I mean, unless there’s a spark ;).
Resize your images.
If you upload an image straight from your camera or phone, chances are it’s going to be way too big for your blog. Most blogs will resize it so it fits, but the image file is massive.
This means that when I load your blog post, it takes longer for your blog to load and I’m bored because I’m impatient and a bit of a dick.
You can resize your images in many ways, I usually import my images into Photos on my Mac, then export the ones I want to use in blog posts as the right size I need before I edit them.
You can also use PicMonkey if you’re wanting a free option!
Don’t use too many photos.
For the same reason above, if your blog post has loads of photos, it’s going to take ages to load.
Some blog posts do require many photos, but there are a lot out there that don’t. Outfit posts, for example. We don’t need to see 20 photos of you in the same coat doing the same pose, just slightly different! I know it’s hard to sometimes pick a favourite photo, but please do it!
Everyone knows popups are annoying, but they’re even more annoying when there isn’t any clear way of getting rid of them unless I like your Facebook page, subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on Twitter.
If you want to make your blog even LESS user friendly, then you can put one of those popups that randomly appear after 30 seconds or so, interrupting my reading experience.
What do you think makes blogs user friendly?